Poem Samples

If by Rudyard Kipling

Subtitled as ‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies, the poem “If” is a masterpiece written by Rudyard Kipling. The great British poet who was born in Mumbai, India is best known for his novels The Jungle Book, The Second Jungle Book, an ...

Death, Be Not Proud by John Donne

The great poet John Donne has given a picturesque description of the powerlessness of Death in this sonnet, and how he considers Death to be the source of an eternal pathway to the gates of the afterlife.  The simple sonnet which has the rhyme schem ...

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky," published in 1871, is in essence, a bunch of nonsense words strung together in verse. However, a closer look shows that it is about a person facing inner difficulties and fears. It is a tale of conquest, and how good al ...

Epithalamion by Edmund Spenser

"Epithalamion," is a marriage ode written by the English Renaissance poet Edmund Spenser. This poem was published originally with his sonnet sequence Amoretti in 1595. It us dedicated to Spenser's marriage to Elizabeth Boyle, his second wife, in 1594 ...

The Tyger by William Blake

"The Tyger" is a poem taken from William Blake’s Songs of Experience. The poem is organized in the form of a series of rhetorical questions regarding the main character, the tiger, itself. Here, the poet is equally amazed and intimidated by the ...

Red Riding Hood by Anne Sexton

In “Red Riding Hood,” Anne Sexton conveys that there are many deceivers in the world who will give you the wrong information and persuade you to believe something which is untrue, with the purpose to manipulate and mislead. This poemwas included ...

Bluebird by Charles Bukowski

In the poem “Bluebird” Charles Bukowski, a German-born American poet, short story writer and novelist portrays the hardships of a man who has a troubled childhood, and the emotional rollercoaster he has to go through in his everyday life. The poe ...

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

"The Giving Tree" is one of Shel Silverstein’s most well-known works. It was written and illustrated by him in the year 1964. It is published as a children’s picture book. The poem celebrates nature’s giving, and laments humans’ taking, and r ...

Clair De Lune by Paul Verlaine

The poem Clair de lune (Moonlight) is from Paul Verlaine’s collection of poems “Fetes Galantes” dating back to 1869. The French poet was associated with the Symbolist Movement; and the poem is a mixture of Romance and Impressionism. Clair De L ...

Who Am I? by Carl Sandburg

A question we have all, at one point or another of our life, tried to answer, “Who Am I?” is also the title of a poem of Carl Sandburg, who attempts to decipher this famous rhetoric dilemma with the assistance of a poetic structure, albeit simple ...

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Two times Grammy-winning and once Oscar nominated American poet Shel Silverstein has earned himself a cult status when it comes to children’s poetry. However, it is not only the children who dearly love Uncle Shel but adults too. Here, he invites e ...

What Do Women Want? by Kim Addonizio

“What Do Women Want?” is a metaphorical yet transparent poem by Addonizio, famous for her controversial poetry on women’s agendas and the battle of the sexes. About a woman who wants a red dress and what she wants to do with it, however, there ...

Walking Around by Pablo Neruda

In "Walking Around," a poem written somewhere around 1935, Pablo Neruda addresses the conflict of man versus society. He discusses how humans have lost their individuality because all that people want to have is what other people have. It is a sad an ...

Two In The Campagna by Robert Browning

“Two in the Campagna” portrays the dilemma of love. Robert Browning, revered amongst Victorian period poets, depicts his thoughts on love and what it means to transcend love. Catching a thought, living in the moment and the feeling of the moment ...

Touched by An Angel by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou, an American poet, memoirist, actress, and an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement, wrote many beautiful and thought-provoking poems. One such poem is “Touched by an Angel.” In this poem, Angelou describes how peopl ...

To You by Walt Whitman

Author of Leaves of Grass and, quite coincidentally along with another great poet Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman was born on May 31st, 1819. He is considered one of the pioneers of American poetry. In this poem, Whitman questions the constraints of li ...

To My Wife - With a Copy of My Poems by Oscar Wilde

More famously known for his plays and philosophical novels, Oscar Wilde created a masterpiece in the form of “To My Wife” where he illustrated his profound belief of art, and the fact that it should exist for its own sake, in a beautifully illust ...

To A Mouse by Robert Burns

In “Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect Robert Burns included the poem, “To a Mouse” in 1786.  The poem’s title alludes to the speaker’s experience with a mouse, and his expression of remorse to, and admiration of it. The poem shows tha ...

Thy Days are Done by Lord Byron

Lord Byron's "Thy Days Are Done" was published in 1815. The war was around him in Greece during this time period. It is heavily influenced by the themes of honor and death. Lord Byron spends most of the poem discussing the achievements of a valiant s ...

Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden

"Those Winter Sundays" is a story of a father’s unending love for his son and the son’s regret of not being able to understand and appreciate that love before time had run up for this. Here, Robert Hayden uses the coldness of the winter mornings ...

There is Another Sky by Emily Dickinson

“There is Another Sky” is a sonnet that depicts the beauty of nature itself in her described "Garden of Eden" as many call it. However, the poem was written in conjunction with a letter the writer sent to her brother pleading him to come back hom ...

The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot

"The Waste Land" is T. S. Eliot’s ultimate masterpiece and has long been considered to be one of the most important poems of the twentieth century. Published in 1922, it was meant to be reflection of the devastating after effects of the First World ...

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

"The Road Not Taken" is one of Robert Frost’s most popular and memorable works published in 1916. The poem puts forward the point that no matter what choice one may make, even a good choice, one will still look back and wonder what would have happe ...

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” was published in 1798 in the “Lyrical Ballads.”  It is about how a Mariner pays for his cruel and impulsive killing of an Albatross, and how the punishment of Life i ...

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Considered one of the writer’s most famous works, ‘The Raven’ is also Poe’s most favorite piece, who has stated it to be the greatest poem ever written. The poem follows a bereaved lover’s encounter with a raven whose repeated reply at ever ...

The Poor Ghost by Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti’s ‘The Poor Ghost’ revolves around a man and his deceased lover who has apparently come back from the dead. The plot explores his apprehension and fear regarding her supernatural status while at the same time, his joy at bein ...

The New Poetry Handbook by Mark Strand

Constructed as if written in the format of an actual handbook, ‘The New Poetry Handbook’ is Mark Strand’s list of rules on reading and writing poetry. Indeed, each stanza is numbered, keeping in accordance with the overall instructional theme o ...

The Mother by Gwendolyn Brooks

In the Poem “The Mother”, it is of no surprise that the writer Gwendolyn Brooke speaks about the heart quenching topic of abortion. The narrator is an impoverished mother addressing the reader directly. She paints an image of how abortion leads t ...

The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott

The Lady of the Lake BY SIR WALTER SCOTT CANTO SECOND - THE ISLAND (Part II) Hail to the chief who in triumph advances! Honoured and blessed be the ever-green pine! Long may the tree in his banner that glances, Flourish the shelter and grace of ...

The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes

"The Highwaymen" is a romantic tale of how two lovers cannot be separated even by the impediments of death. Set during the time of King George, the poem seeks to explore the world of love wherein also resides such themes as hope and jealousy and how ...

The Fairy Temple; Or, Oberon's Chapel by Robert Herrick

“The Fairy Temple” or Oberon’s Chapel is a fairy poetry written by Robert Herrick which is a satirical miniaturization of the seventeenth-century society into a world of fairies. Herrick was a propagator and scholar of folk beliefs and legends. ...

The Dole of the King's Daughter by Oscar Wilde

In "The Dole of the King's Daughter" Oscar Wilde shows that when someone manipulates a person's heart with dishonest intentions, the manipulator faces consequences for toying with someone's feelings. In the poem, a princess misuses her power to wreak ...

The Charge of the Light Brigade by Lord Alfred Tennyson

Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by hand in December 1854. The poem is about the attack of the Light Brigade on the Russians and the Battle of Balaclava, which took place in 1854. The battle was fought between Russia, ...

The Broken Heart by William Barnes

Before he died in 1886, William Barnes published a number of collections of poetry, which included "The Broken Heart," a poem about how true love cannot be bought or forced; it must be given freely, and how we must always do what we think is right. ...

The Blessed Damozel by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Dante Gabriel Rossetti's "The Blessed Damozel" is about a woman looking down upon her lover from heaven. The woman wants to be with her lover for eternity but knows that it can never happen. She feels that if the two of them unite in one and pray, th ...

Success is Counted Sweetest by Emily Dickinson

In her poem "Success is Counted Sweetest," published in 1864, Emily Dickinson uses great images of a winning army and a dying soldier to illustrate that only those who have experienced defeat can understand and acknowledge the real value of success, ...

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

This is merely a simple story of a weary traveler, who is exhausted from following the path and only wants to sit down for a while. In "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", Robert Frost explores the complex array of emotions one is forced to underg ...

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

A literary voice well-known globally for her poetic command and her commitment to civil rights, Maya Angelou first published her poem “Still I Rise” in her similarly titled 1978 book of poetry. In the poem, she tells she is ready to overcome anyt ...

Sick by Shel Silverstein

Despite his many attributes he made the most prominent splash as a songwriter and was nominated for both Grammy and Oscar. "Sick" is another one of Shel Silverstein’s humorous poems – it is about a little girl trying to convince her parents not t ...

Seven Ages Of Man by William Shakespeare

One of the most well-known poems of William Shakespeare, a great English poet and playwright, describing the circle of human life. Shakespeare ingeniously compares the periods of life to theater plays, where actors - people - play their roles until t ...

Seeker Of Truth by E. E. Cummings

“Seeker of Truth” is one of E. E Cummings’ incredible portfolio of 2900 poems. The great American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright wanted to portray life’s great contradiction in finding the truth in this particular masterpiece ...

Romance by Edgar Allan Poe

“Romance” is one of the rarest creations of Edgar Allan Poe, where the American writer, poet, and literary critic took a break from his genres of gore and horror, to write about romance, grasping the essence of nature. Romance BY EDGAR ALLAN PO ...

Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

Phenomenal Woman BY MAYA ANGELOU Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size But when I start to tell them, They think I'm telling lies. I say, It's in the reach of my arms The span of my hip ...

One Hundred and Three by Henry Lawson

The great Australian poet Henry Lawson depicted his brutal experience in the poem “One Hundred and Three” where he elaborated on his moments of despair, torment, and misery. The title refers to a prisoner’s cell number, and the poem is meant to ...

O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

After Abraham Lincoln's assassination in 1865, Walt Whitman wrote "O Captain My Captain." The poem is written in a form of an elegy and is aimed to honor the sixteenth president of the United States. The entire poem itself provides extended metaphor ...

No Second Troy by William Butler Yeats

The twelve-line poem portrays William Butler Yeats’ rhetoric directed to Maud Gonne regarding her rejections to Yeats’ repeated declaration of love, on the one hand. And on the other, the poet shows us the chaotic side to Gonne, an Irish revoluti ...

Messy Room by Shel Silverstein

As can be imagined from the title of the poem, "Messy Room" by Shel Silverstein is about a heavily disorganized room, described from the point of view of a speaker who is stunned and horrified at the lack of responsibility of the anonymous owner of t ...

Mending Wall by Robert Frost

“Mending Wall” opens Frost's second collection of poetry, North of Boston, which was published by David Nutt. It has turned into one of the most studied poems in modern literature. The poem’s theme is that isolation provides a sense of protecti ...

Life is Fine by Langston Hughes

In the poem “Life is Fine”, Langston Hughes, the poet, also a novelist, fiction writer, and playwright, expresses his optimism after his attempts of ending his life which in turn end up making him feel alive. He comments “Since I’m still livi ...

Let America be America Again by Langston Hughes

“Let America Be America Again” is a poem dedicated to and inspired by the political subjects written by Langston Hughes in 1935 and published in the Esquire issue in the summer of 1936. The poem is about how America must fulfil the promises it ga ...

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